May the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen. (Ps. 72:19)
THERE’S A WONDERFUL AMBIGUITY in this psalm. At the beginning, it seems to be about an Israelite king. The Psalm is traditionally attributed to Solomon, and we imagine Solomon wanting to become as much a man after God’s own heart as was his father, David.
Yet by the end of the Psalm, we begin to wonder if the Psalmist might be referring to a King who would come much later: Jesus, the Messiah, who perfectly loves the needy and oppressed, and whose name will continue forever. The ambiguity is logical, because both Jesus and Solomon, who was a just, earthly king, had a very similar job to do. The work of the faithful kings of God’s people prepared the people for God’s activity through Jesus.
The ambiguity is good for us to think about because just as a faithful Israelite king envisioned Jesus coming, it’s our job to faithfully reflect Him. The same Jesus who said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12), said to His disciples, “You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14). As His people, we are part of the fulfillment of Psalm 72:19. As we carry on Jesus’ ministry as the body of Christ, we move closer to that day when His glory will fill the earth. In what ways does your life reflect His glory as you await His triumphant return?
Imagine the world as Christ intends it to be.
Michael Jordan is the dean of the chapel at Houghton College, where he also serves as chair of the Department of Biblical Studies, Theology and Philosophy.
© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.